So we've had the assistance of my lovely daughter Maria on a number of these contests, but my son is feeling left out. Ben loves sports and, to be honest, isn't necessarily all that interested in music. But he wanted to run a contest and since he feels like we owe him a couple, we've devised two contests in one for this evening.
First, we have to start with the songs that Ben likes. It's an interesting collection. Ben's favorite song is a Beatles classic. So here, from deep in the 60s, with Ringo at the helm, we have:
Next, we travel forward about five years to the dawn of the 70s. Motown's hot new act was taking the nation by storm. Here, in a clip from their 1971 "Going Back to Indiana" special, with
Bill Cosby and Tom Smothers appearing, weirdly, is the Jackson 5 with:
Then, we have a harbinger of trouble. Ben is 12 now, but he's apparently thinking ahead to his 16th birthday, based on this choice. He's already asking me about when he'll get to drive. I'd rather not think about it. But ultimately Ben will not be denied because, as Tom Cochrane reminded us in 1991, with lotsa guitar and harmonica,
We now reach the transition point. The next tune is part of both contests. We go back to Cali, 1964, before things got weird. The Beach Boys were selling their version of the American Dream, well represented here with:
And now, since we're in back in the 60s, it's time to look at one of the sillier manifestations of the 1960s - dancing. On the last clip, you see plenty o' bikini-clad beauties dancing away. But these lovelies weren't the only ones dancing.
A regular feature of many 1960s performances were go-go dancers. More than 40 years on, some of them look a little, well, silly. Maria is here and she agrees with her dad about this. For example, check out what develops about 50 seconds in on this one, featuring a bunch of Texas boys pretending to be part of the British Invasion (and fooling absolutely no one). From 1965, it's Doug Sahm and his buddies in the Sir Douglas Quintet telling us that:
A year later, something was emerging from a garage in San Jose other than Dionne Warwick and Hewlett-Packard. It was the Count Five, a classic one-hit wonder band with a little more wailing harmonica and again, some really strange poolside dancing going on. It's time for a:
Now of course, not all the dancing in the 60s was strange. Some people knew how to dance. Like the Godfather of Soul. From a 1966 appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, it's James Brown with:
So, if you've managed to make it this far, you get to vote. Here are the rules.
Contest 1: pick the Ben song you like best, from songs 1-4.
Contest 2: pick the dancing song you like best, from songs 4-7.
The polls are open!